Saturday, May 29, 2010


it's quiet.

travel plans to atlanta got canceled due to rain. so i'm here...

made some oatmeal. for the first time since the last time i made it for Jarronn. delicious, but lots left over. probably need to downsize the recipe.


around me and in my head.

i'm resisting the urge to make it loud again. to instead, embrace, enjoy, take in the silence. to feel balance. to still feel secure. to feel me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

what remains

when Jarronn and i got into "the thick" of wedding planning, we tried our best to split the responsibilities. i found the venue, and he gave his approval. i gathered the caterer proposals and arranged the tastings. i booked the florist and created our invitations. and he was responsible for finding the photographer and the dj/musicians.

in doing his research, Jarronn found a couple of potential photographers, mainly through the recommendations of friends who had gotten married. i came across genevieve leiper's website and passed it on to him one night. he was hesitant to look at it, because he felt i was imposing on his assignment. and once he had looked through it, he complained (in jest) about the fact that i had found the photographer he wanted to go with.

our meeting with genevieve was wonderful, and we were ecstatic about working with her. i remember Jarronn asking her to tell us "her story" of how she got into professional photography, and how i thought that was so interesting. both her story and his asking. how it was another example of how much he cared about the details of people's lives.

i vividly remember the morning our electronic proofs arrived. we sat on the couch, looking through the slideshow of images and relived the moments of the day.

less than a week before he died, Jarronn sent the message below to genevieve:

Hey Genevieve,

I had to send you ANOTHER message to let you know how incredible you are at what you do!

There are two reasons that I say that, the first is that EVERYONE that has seen our online proofs always comments about how great the shots are, photographically and creatively!  The second is that I have been to another wedding since and have seen at least three other people's wedding photos and NOBODY can touch you!  You and Amy were working your behinds off all night and captured some great moments and pictures.

Your work will help us forever remember our wedding day as beautifully as we lived it on that day.  YOU'RE THE BEST and I have given your contact information to a few friends of mine as a result.

Be well,
Jarronn and Jessica


and now those photos are what remains. i'm so thankful that we made the investment to capture everything that that day was. the people. the details. the smiles. the love.

genevieve recently wrote about her coverage of our wedding on her blog and posted some of her favorite photos. i hope that you'll check it out.

Friday, May 14, 2010

wedding vows, part II

thanks for all of the lovely comments about yesterday's post.

in the lead up to our wedding, Jarronn repeatedly begged me not to outdo him with my vows. he'd remind me over and over that we were aiming for a minute or so of talking, and that he didn't want me to write something too eloquent that made him look bad. well, if you read his vows, you'd know that there was no chance of him being outdone. i was pretty blown away. and in my head, i thought, "i'm going to kill this guy for outdoing me!"

but in the end, what meant the most is that we both meant what we said. and knew it. before God. and all of our family and friends.

wedding vows
may 15, 2009
by Jessica Moreland

Jarronn –

Without knowing it, you’ve transformed my thoughts about love. Where I once doubted the notion of true, head-over-heels, totally devoted love, it is through you that I have come to learn that it really does exist. I thank you for accepting me for the person I am. For challenging me to become the woman I’m purposed to be. For sharing in my triumphs and encouraging me in times of disappointment. And for making it your personal mission to keep me laughing. {{ad lib}} -- As was exemplified here today. (smile)

There are days when seeing you, and knowing that we have each other, makes every challenge of life seem small. Loving you feels effortless. But on days when it may feel difficult, I vow to still love you. To show you patience, kindness, forgiveness, and support. I vow to encourage you and not tear you down. I vow to trust you in leading me and our family. I vow to honor you as my husband, to accept your imperfections, and to recognize the greatness inside of you. 

I vow to keep God first, and work to make our relationship one that brings Him glory. I vow to pray for you and your strength. And I vow to depend on God to make me the wife you need throughout the different stages of our lives.

It’s my prayer that I’ll be able to look into these same eyes 50 years from now. I couldn’t be happier to be marrying my best friend. I couldn’t be more honored to become Mrs. Jarronn Jackson. And I couldn’t be more excited to spend the rest of my life with you.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

wedding vows, part I

saturday is our wedding anniversary. the lead up has been a bit rough.

in the planning of our wedding, Jarronn and i decided that in addition to the more formal, traditional vows, we would also write and share our own. those of you who were at the wedding, know how special the vows were. those of you who weren't, may have heard about them. and some of you have asked to see them.

so i figured that in the lead up to saturday, it would be appropriate to share them. today we'll start with Jarronn's. tomorrow will be mine -- same as the order in which they were recited. the words and emphasis are exactly the way he typed them. (the quotation marks and underlining were inserted by Jarronn -- typically as his places of emphasis and humor.) hope you enjoy the picture of our love.

wedding vows
may 15, 2009
by Jarronn Jackson

Jessica Alicia Moreland also known as Chatty, sometimes known as Babylove, commonly known as Boo,

As we stand here today, I continue to be in awe of how omnipotent and wise our God is.  Throughout our relationship you have been my homegirl, my support, my best friend, and the love of my life…and today I will finally call you my wife.

I vow to you that I will take the responsibility that God has entrusted in me to lead our lives together and be a responsible, considerate, open-minded, and ever-loving husband.

I promise to love you in the way that you need to be loved by listening to you, compromising with you, and praying for you.

I promise to keep our love "fresh," by following the old wisdom of "whatever you did to get her, you have to do to keep her" and finding new things for us to discover and enjoy together.

I promise to keep our love "fun," by being spontaneous, and continuing to "date" you throughout our marriage.

I also promise to accept the vulnerability that comes with loving you so completely and unconditionally.

I promise that I will "try" to not let the pride of a man cloud my judgment in our marriage; and if it does, I vow to be "man" enough to admit when I am wrong.

I promise to give you not only the euphoric, intimate, and romantic "eros" love, but to love you completely, always. Eros, philos, and agape. With this agape love, this selfless, unconditional love, I promise to always work and always try. Through the years, I may need a reminder of this, but we can always go to the DVD!

With these promises that I have made to you today, I cannot guarantee that I will be all things, always, but I promise to always try and be an active participant in our marriage. Prayerfully, as we look back on our marriage many, many years down the road, we will see that all of these promises have been fulfilled.

It is with these vows that I pledge my unconditional love to you today and always!

Monday, May 10, 2010

a big deal

so in my post about my 23 days off from school, i talked about wanting to travel. and last week, i took a much-anticipated trip to chicago for two days. my first and last trip to the chi was at an extremely happy time in life -- july 2008, and i was coasting on the high of just getting engaged and preparing to transition to my current job.

that 2008 trip was filled with lots of great times. visits to obama headquarters. boutique shopping. a lazy bus tour. my first encounter with big bowl. dancing with my favorite player d. mcnabb. and of course, great reunion time with my girls from college.

i had hoped that my second trip to the windy city would be under much different circumstances. more so along the lines of a surprise trip there to celebrate Jarronn's 30th birthday. but while the trip wasn't exactly what i had originally wanted, it turned out to be wonderful.

so why chicago, and why now? about six weeks ago, my boss and i started talking about the oprah show. she told me about her experiences going to the show, and i shared how going to her show before it goes off the air next year was one of my "bucket list" items. to my huge surprise, she said, "why didn't you tell me this before?" ummmm. huh? long story short...she sent a few emails and got me four tickets to the may 4 taping of the oprah show! talk about a big deal!

(yes, i have the best boss in the world. no, you can't email her for a hook-up.) :-)

and so we went to chicagooooo (said with my arm extended and in my best oprah shout). me, my mom, and two of my girlfriends. we scored a hotwire hook-up at the swanky hotel sax, and we ate our way through the city. hot asian buns. wine flights. massaman curry. and corn tortilla tacos. (man, i love food.) you can check out some photos below.

the show airs tomorrow, may 11. i wouldn't get too excited about seeing us in the audience, but you never know.

yes, chicago trip #2 was certainly different than what i had originally planned. and i definitely had moments where i thought about the what ifs and the should haves. but i had fun. and i was grateful.

and for the first time, in a very long time, as i sat on the plane (of course in my window seat), and descended back to reagan national, i felt happy to be coming home. and that -- just like oprah -- was a really big deal.

Friday, May 7, 2010

heart break

lucky in love. that's how most people would label me. and i can't really argue with that. i've been blessed to know amazing people and to be in relationships with amazing men. men who have treated me with respect, loved me despite my flaws, and never wanted to hurt me.

and i tried my best to be all of those things to them as well. but i wasn't always successful. in fact, i know i was even the cause of some heart ache. heart break. hurt.

it's not something i say with pride. it's not something i say to imply that i somehow had the upper hand. there's no good feeling in knowing you hurt someone you love.

there were many times i wished i could have been the one to bear the heart break. it's not that i didn't have my own share of pain in those situations. but i knew that i ultimately was the cause of the hurt. the cause of the disappointment. the cause of things not going back to how they used to be. or how they wanted.

while i always had the best intentions, i always feared, somewhere deep down, that the pain would come back around to get me. that it was only a matter of time. that the luck was sure to run out. that i'd be the one who'd end up on the other side. wanting more. unable to have it. heart broken.

and that's where i've found myself. now i know heart break. and heart break knows me. only it didn't happen the way i thought it would. or thought it could. it wasn't caused by a man. instead, it's heart break caused by God. and i'm not sure if that's better, worse, or no difference at all. but i imagine there are a lot of similarities. feeling betrayed. feeling like a fool. searching for reasoning. waiting for a call (or in my case, an answered prayer). feeling abandoned. and trying to figure out where you went wrong. what you did wrong. and what could possibly make things better.

h.e.a.r.t. broken.

i hope God is as sorry as i've been.